Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomMake math engaging for students with strong visual/spatial interests. This site would be perfect to explore on interactive whiteboard. Use this site as an introduction to fractals, African art, mathematicians, or forms found in architecture. View the video as a class, and allow students to explore the site on their own, allowing time for experimenting with the included applets.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): alphabet (85), decimals (125), drawing (78), fractions (229), game based learning (137), geometric shapes (171), keyboarding (40), latitude (14), literacy (105), longitude (14), number sense (94), numbers (194), operations (123), preK (284)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstrate how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center AT the whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomCapture your students' interest in the modern world of technology. Share this video on your interactive whiteboard or projector (be sure to use full screen mode). YouTube Play can be used in a variety of classroom settings; art, music, technology, language art, drama, science, or political science. If your district blocks YouTube, then this site may not be viewable. You could always view selected videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
In the art classroom, explore the emerging world of creative video. Determine elements of design, technology, photography, and movement. Discover the integration of music, sound, and movement in video in many creative ways. Use the site to demonstrate how to convey a message through creative animation. Express a creative editorial on a current events or important issues that challenge our world such as over-population, fossil fuels, or pollution. Have students create innovative political campaign videos. Take your technology classes to a new level of excellence. Add a visual component to poems, prose, or narratives as an additional interpretation device. Introduce storyboarding techniques to create videos. Have your students make their own videos and share them via TeacherTube, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. The ed.Voicethread account works in both places.
In the ClassroomYou will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.
Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.
Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades5 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse the selections and activities with individual students as an assignment or independent practice on your classroom computer. The reading and activities are easy to work on independently because of the listening feature. Don't forget to provide headsets. Small groups of students can listen at one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Provide this link for the families of ESL/ELL students to read (or listen) to the selections together. Learning support teachers will also appreciate the option to provide audio and text together to improve student comprehension.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): african american (109), baseball (36), civil war (142), comics and cartoons (62), dance (27), folktales (50), greece (27), habitats (108), immigration (60), literature (267), mexico (32), musical instruments (51), myths and legends (25), native americans (80), painting (65), surrealism (2)
In the ClassroomSearch this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
GradesK to 2
tag(s): alphabet (85)
In the ClassroomCreate an collaborative ABC chart for the classroom with origami. This is a wonderful beginning of the year activity for the class. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Take advantage of this moment to discuss strategies to follow directions. Ask students to discuss what style of directions work best for them. Photograph or scan the origami letters with the children and create an online poster using PicLits, reviewed here, or create an online book using a site such as Story Maker, reviewed here. Be sure to post or embed a link to your electronic ABC book on your class webpage for parents to enjoy.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe use of primary sources in teaching has been greatly increased by our digital access to documents like these. Peruse the list of "milestone" documents, and commit to using the photographs on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when the document comes up in a lesson or discussion. For teachers who are supporting student projects for National History Day, this site also has a link to specific tips, although it appears the site has not been kept up to date with current information on individual competitions. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one of the documents and create a multimedia project of their choice. Looking for some inspiration? How about having groups create a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students narrate a photo of the document (using a FREE and LEGAL photo) using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomYou may want to share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups investigate various sections of this site. Have students use this site to learn the basics of sedimentation and how fossils are made. Use this site to teach students about the jungle, plains, and tundra. Teach about predators and prey. Students can demonstrate their knowledge by teaching within small groups or presenting to the class. A round table type discussion can also identify information learned. Students can create informational media such as digital or conventional posters. For quicker projects, create electronic "posters" or word graphics for adopted word using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here). Continue the discussion with information about the local soil type and animals to make comparisons of fossil finds. Create a model replica of the sedimentation that would occur as a student project.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): hiv/aids (19)
In the ClassroomDesign a poster activity with your students, using this site as a springboard. Have students create traditional posters or online posters using Padlet (reviewed here) or or PicLits (reviewed here) to share on a class wiki or a cafeteria kiosk to apply what they have learned about both HIV/AIDS and the power of visual images.
Grades8 to 12
There is a link called "Tools for Educators" that has a downloadable teacher sourcebook. (Although it's the 2004 edition, only the first part of the sourcebook is about a competition for the year 2005.) The book has resources, how to use the documents, lesson plans, follow up activities, printouts, etc. Although the site is slightly dated, it includes some real gems. The site also offers ideas for librarians, classroom integration tips, and photos and downloadable posters.
In the ClassroomAlthough this site has links for integrating the material for the classroom, teachers could also create a blog site which students can post their thoughts about a milestone document for discussion. A bingo game could be created based on the 100 Milestone documents. Don't let the age group deter you from doing this -students of all ages love a good game of bingo - especially with a prize incentive!
Why not assign individual documents to cooperative learning groups to investigate, read, and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): blogs (84), charts and graphs (196), communities (38), experiments (68), geology (81), literature (267), news (260), search strategies (24), spreadsheets (21), statistics (126), tutorials (50), wikis (15)